A “universal” effective NN interaction of the Skyrme type has been proposed which is suitable for both ground and excited states in nuclei throughout the nuclear mass table. The analytical structure of the proposed interaction SkE is presented and discussed. The spin stability of the force is studied by deriving the corresponding Landau-Migdal interaction for uniform nuclear matter. An equivalent set of force parameters starting from a realistic interaction after application of the local-density approximation (LDA) and the density-matrix expansion (DME) is derived. The behavior of the SkE interaction in describing charge properties is extensively discussed by carrying out a detailed and elaborate study of nucleon and charge distributions in 58Ni, the Ca and Pb isotopes.